Today is Teacher Appreciation Day, and since my wife’s a teacher I figured I’d tell you how she’s schooled me over the years. Here’s what I know about teachers:
All of these are terrific, Tim. I wish the educational “experts” realized that number 5 is really important. I’ve seen more than one fabulous teacher driven from the profession by the over-emphasis of teaching toward the standardized testing standards. Sad and frustrating for all involved.
It really is frustrating how it’s carried out in some places.
As a parent, I’m frustrated on this subject and related ones right now!
As the parent of two public school teachers, I’m also frustrated by the talk I hear in our churches about how “evil” our public schools are. A pastor told me you would be a “fool” to send your kids to public schools; I was gob-smacked by that remark.
My wife has worked in public schools her entire career and our kids went to public school from kindergarten on, eventually graduating from public universities (as did me and my wife both, k through grad school). Anyone who tells me they think public schools are evil or foolish gets from me an earful. Politely, of course. And I don’t stop talking until they’ve heard enough and want to change the subject.
Good on you, Tim! As an elder in our denomination, I have to be a little more . . . tactful. But, I have to say the accusation, based on ignorance, hurts. And it is widespread in the Christian community.
The number one reason that there is a huge war between the church and public schools and why public schools are demonized is because people fear the teaching of evolutionary science.
Possibly. I’ve heard tons of reasons people say they mistrust schools (some people include private Christian schools, insisting home schooling is the only responsible way to raise a child).
We have had ‘National Standards’ in NZ nationwide for about 6 years now and there is still so much debate about it. One of our papers is running week long articles on our schooling system, again… It all seems to, as your post says detract from the actual teaching and planning of great enjoyable lessons. The other sad thing seems to be the reporting to parents where children are levelled ‘below’ ‘at’ or ‘above’ the national standards (is that the same for you?) It is heartbreaking when a child is told they are constantly failing even if they have progressed well through the year. I like homeschooling for the reason it can allow a child to learn at their own pace and pursue interests that they are passionate about, but homeschooling is not the ‘ideal’ necessarily either as some would have us believe it is God’s only way to educate. I like that we have a variety of options (and charter schools are just starting up here too, more debate…..) as we are all different and learn differently.
I don’t mind tests. I just don’t think teachers should teach to the tests, whether the individual type for the course or the standardized type.
Yes, and let them encourage their students to love learning for a whole lifetime. A great gift that teachers want to pass on to the next generation.
Before I got sick, I was. 7-12 grade math teacher. Everything on your list is true!
I have worked in both public school systems and a private Christian school. Public schools are not “evil”, and private Chrisrian schools are far from perfect. There are problem teachers, problem students, and problem parents everywhere. There is also good everywhere.
My pet peeve as a teacher: being pressured to stick to core curriculum standards. If the students are behind in math, you can’t expect them to do well by teaching above their ability level. On the other hand, if the students are ahead, take them to the next level and run with it!
Wow. Teaching is a lot of work, but I miss it so!
Tailoring the curriculum to the students is always my preferred mode, Nancy.
Thirty some years without pay teaching, guiding, shaping lives.
Would not trade that for anything.
You must be very proud of your wife. I have a good deal of respect for teachers.
We have SATs week coming up. I think it’s ridiculous the way the UK government keeps changing the way children are tested, and the pressure falls onto the teachers. My daughter sits her Year 6 SATs and, fortunately, goes to a school where the teachers, although they are forced to teach to the test, make the week as fun and relaxing as possible.
There doesn’t seem to be the same anti-school idea among Christians in the UK. In fact, many people who are Christians are teachers. It’s possibly the most popular career for Christians.
Also, I wonder if there is a connection between ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ and homeschooling? I would imagine that those people who ascribe to the idea that all schools are bad also assume that it will be the mothers who do the homeschooling? I have nothing against homeschooling. I have homeschooled in the past (it did not work well for us) and have enormous admiration for those who take it on, but the idea that you’re somehow a bad parent for *not* homeschooling is worrying. What about parents who did not have an adequate education themselves? What happens when they feel obliged to homeschool? And, no offence, but there seem to be quite a number of Americans who are ill-educated, easily led and, dare I say it, painfully ignorant. Just look at the rise of a certain politician recently.
NB There are plenty of ignorant people in my own country – I’m not being anti-American when I write this.
I hadn’t heard about Christians being attracted to the teaching profession in the UK before. I think a lot are drawn to teaching here as well.
My mother was a public school teacher for a decade before retiring to raise and then teach her own children. She homeschooled us simply because she didn’t like the changes that were then being made to teaching in schools (not using phonics for teaching reading, not teaching spelling, etc.). She always says, “A good teacher wants her students to learn more than she knows.”
Your mom sounds like a good teacher.
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